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Wilkes County, NC: Where the Mountains Begin

Wilkes County is a mecca for lovers of craftsmanship and music. Situated among the foothills of North Carolina, this small county is home to a thriving community of artisans, musicians, and historians who celebrate the region’s Scotch-Irish roots and cultural heritage. From MerleFest to local craft fairs and festivals, there’s something for everyone in Wilkes County!

Tyler Childers performing at MerleFest

The Music Scene in Wilkes County

Wilkes County is renowned for its musical legacy. Every April since 1988, MerleFest has brought thousands of fans from around the world to experience the music that has made this area so famous. This four-day festival features traditional mountain music as well as bluegrass, old-time stringband music, Americana, blues, folk, gospel, rockabilly, acoustic jazz and Celtic styles. But you don’t have to wait until April to get your fill of music – there are plenty of other live music venues throughout the county year round.

Craftsmanship & Cultural Heritage

Wilkes County takes great pride in its long tradition of handmade crafts. Every summer Wilkesboro hosts an arts & crafts fair--The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival--with over 200 vendors showcasing their handmade wares – everything from quilts and pottery to furniture and jewelry. The festival also includes demonstrations by local artisans as well as performances by traditional mountain musicians. Visitors can explore historic sites such as Revolutionary War battlefields and early American homesites which tell the stories of Wilkes County’s unique culture and history .

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience steeped in culture and tradition then visit Wilkes County – where the mountains begin! There’s something for everyone here – from world class music festivals to quaint shops featuring handcrafted items made by local artisans. It’s no wonder why this small corner of North Carolina continues to draw people from all over the world! Make sure you add it to your travel list today!


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